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Avalanche Strikes Norway’s Svalbard Archipelago – 2 Dead, 8 Injured

Avalanche on Svalbard Archipelago Hits Homes And Buries Local Residents In Longyearbyen

At approximately 11 AM on Saturday, December 19, 2015 a large avalanche on Sukkertoppen Mountain hit the town of Longyearbyen, Norway. The avalanche hit 10 homes and buried local residents.

Longyearbyen, Svalbard Archipelago, Norway | Stock Photo - Pixabay

Longyearbyen, Svalbard Archipelago, Norway | Stock Photo

A crew of roughly 100 emergency workers, volunteers, and search dogs were quick to the scene and did their best to rescue the avalanche victims who were buried alive. According to US News & World Report one man in his 40’s has died and at least nine others were hospitalized – including 4 children.

USNews.com reports that the avalanche occurred after a huge storm hit Svalbard on Friday “with winds up to 95 kph”. Reuters.com reports that the avalanche shifted houses “about 20 meters.” A very scary situation.

Longyearbyen is the main settlement in Svalbard – a remote Norwegian archipelago in the Arctic Ocean about mid way between the North Pole and Norway. There are about 2600 people who live in Longyearbyen, which is one of the most northern inhabited points on the planet.. Learn more facts about Longyearbyen here.

Stay tuned for more details as they become available.

UPDATE: According to TheLocal.no, a child has now died from injuries sustained in the avalanche. RIP.

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